We have a lot of you ask how we brew all our coffees. Here you’ll find some of our own brewing recipes, along with other useful tips for making killer coffee at home.
Jump down to a guide:
Kalita (Hasami) 102.
Quick cold brew (qcb).
Some good-to-know things to start:
The coffee – the main ingredient, make sure it’s of good quality and at peak time of use post-roast. For ours, we recommend 1-4 weeks off-roast.
Cleaning – keeping your gear clean is #1 for good coffee. Dirty gear is gross, and will ruin all your hard work brewing a good cup.
Repetition – try and do all your actions and motions the same way every time, for example, if you’re agitating, try and take note of exactly how you’re doing it. With something like an aeropress, one extra stir for example will completely change your brew.
Grinding – freshly ground coffee is necessary if you want the best cup. Investing in a quality burr grinder is a good idea so you can get uniform grind sizes. Stay away from blade grinders.
Brew ratio – when looking at brew ratios, these are always starting points. Keep an open mind, especially with different brew methods.
Measure everything – coffee is like baking, you have to weigh and time out everything. 0.5g difference in coffee or a few mls change in water will affect your brew ratio, and end result.
Water – good water is crucial, a carbon filter most of the time will do, although it depends on where you live.
Classic french press. A lot of people say you need a super coarse grind but with new-school coffees, and more discerning tastes, something similar to a finer cup grind suites our recipe best. Medium/fine you could call it. This is the easiest but longest recipe. We stay around a 16:1 or 16.5:1 ratio.
Your kit – french press. spoon. 320-330mls boiling water. 20g of Modus coffee. Scale. Cup.
1. Rinse. Start by pre-heating your french press, and boiling your water.
2. Grind. Freshly ground is best. 20g into your press. Try a few steps finer than a pour-over grind.
3. 00:00 Top up. Pour all of your water into the press and on your coffee. Put the top on, but do not press or disturb the coffee crust.
4. 06:00 Wait. After 5 or 6 minutes use a utensil or spoon to ‘break’ your crust. Optionally, skim off the top foam and floating bits. This can add a bit of bitterness to your cup. Put the top back on, do not press quite yet.
5. 10:00 – 15:00 Ready to go. Your coffee will be ready. You can gently push the press down about halfway into your coffee, this is just used to filter out any bigger grinds. The longer your coffee sits, the more mellow it’ll get. We find at about 15 minutes, its tasting big and sweet.
6. 16:00 Decant. To slow your coffee from brewing, best to either decant it all into your cup, or into another vessel.
the kalita 102
The Kalita 102 is our go-to at the shop. The shape and restrictive holes produce a sweet and big body cup. Aside from that, repeatability with it is near 100% true, almost.
Your kit – 22g Modus coffee, 385mls off-boil water, paper filter, stirring utensil, cup and/or decanter. And scale and timer always.
1. Rinse. Start by wetting your filter with your boiled water. Why? To make everything hot and wash the papery flavour out of the filter. Discard.
2. Grind. A good start point is to grind your coffee like coarse salt. Dose the 22g into your rinsed kalita filter.
3. 00:00 Pre-wet. Start your timer and start by blooming your coffee. Pour double the dry weight (44mls) of your water into the coffee. Start in the middle and work your way out, getting all the surface.
4. 00:15 Agitate. With your utensil, gently excavate the coffee, making sure everything, even under the surface is wet. You’ll be able to feel it. Take care to not agitate or mix too much, this will affect your brew.
5. 00:30 Initial pour. Start your pour in the center, and work your way out to peel back the bloom, not pouring down the sides.
6. 1:00 Pouring. Still pouring in a circular motion, by this point aim to have 200mls of water in.
7. 1:30 Still pouring. By now, aim for 300mls of water.
8. 2:00 Stop. By now, you should have finished pouring the whole 385mls.
9. 2:15 The finish. To make sure everything is brewing nice, use your utensil to give a light stir the same direction you were pouring. Then give the vessel a nice circular motion. This’ll help settle the coffee bed.
10. 3:00 – 4:00 Fin. Your water should be drained by now. A good end time for this brew style is between 3 – 4 mins. We aim for 3:30, right in the middle.
Once your brew is done, give it a nice swirl or stir to destratify everything. Wait a while for it to cool, and enjoy.
The aeropress is a quirky one, endless ways to get good coffee out of it. Here is our method – inverted, with paper filters.
Your kit – Aeropress. Paper or metal filter. 230mls boiling water. 14g Modus coffee. Scale. Cup. Long spoon or utensil to stir.
1. Rinse. Start by pre wetting your paper filter like always. If you have Aesir premium filters, even better.
2. Grind. Same grind as a Kalita 102 or V60, a good place to start is to have your coffee looking like coarse sea salt.
3. 00:00 pre-wet. Put your coffee into the aeropress, bloom with 28ml water right off boil.
4. 00:15 stir. Give the slurry a light stir to make sure everything is soaked.
5. 00:25 pour. Pour the rest of your off-boil water until you hit 230mls.
6. 00:50 stir. Give it just one stir to make sure no coffee is stuck on the bottom or on the walls. Cap it.
7. 1:20 Flip. Place your vessel or cup on top, and flip. Hold both sections while you do this to avoid the top/bottom popping off.
8. 1:25 Swirl. With it right side up, give it all one nice swirling motion to agitate again, and dislodge any coffee stuck to the plunger.
9. 1:30 Press. Press until 2:00.
If you’re using a metal filter, let your coffee sit for a couple minutes, and then decant into another vessel to leave the fines behind. If you’re using paper, you’re good to go after you decant or stir your final brew to destratify.
If coffee brewing isn’t complicated enough, espresso can be much more complicated. With more variables, super fine grind sizes, any small adjustment can throw your end result completely off.
At the shop our general rule is to keep things as simple as possible with minimal steps. Less steps, means more consistency.
Your kit – Espresso machine, espresso grinder, tamper, scale, vessel/shot glass, dry cloth, timer
1. Pre-heat. Most home machines will need some time to heat up properly, check your manual and make sure the machine is good to go.
2. Set up. Most espresso machines have no adjustability, but if you are able to, we use a lower temperature of 201.9F. Standard pressure is fine. If you’re able to work in a pre-wet, this will help with an even extraction as well – we like 3 seconds of pre-wet, and a 3 second pause until full pressure. Investing in better baskets is always a plus.
*3. Target. For a straight espresso or black bev, we use 18.7gs of coffee and look for 48-52mls of espresso. For milkys, we like a tighter shot, so maybe 40-45mls. Both over 22-28 seconds. The tighter shots work well to get a more punchy espresso with milk. And the longer shots help to open up the espresso to get more juiciness out of it.
*the above dose is mainly for our Coast or DCF profiles. Using any of the lighter profiles, go with a dose of 18g. Aim for similar mls out, with a longer pull time. The lower dose will help with extraction.
4. Dose and grind. This will be your main variable. Dry your portafilter basket, and dose out either 18.7g or 18g depending on the coffee.
5. Distribute. If you have a distribution tool, great, if not, you can use your finger to spread the grinds across the portafilter. No need to push, just move your finger around in a circular motion to get an even level. You want minimal clumping, this will depend mostly on your grinder.
6. Tamp. Evenly and level. You can use your thumb and index finger to feel how level the tamper is in the portafilter. When pressing, it’s simpler to stand sideways and lift a foot off the ground and lean into it, instead of using force, and to avoid atrophy.
7. Purge. purge the machine, run hot water through it for a second or two to pre-heat the head and also get rid of any old coffee from the screen. No coffee should be on the lip or ears of the portafilter.
8. Run the shot. Put the portafilter in, gently, if you knock it around it could ruin your nice and level coffee puck, throwing your shot off. Once it’s inserted, start the shot right away, start your timer. No need to leave it in there to cook. The goal is to have your espresso puck pressed as evenly as possible, as tight as possible. This is how you get a sweet and balanced espresso. Google ‘espresso channeling’.
9. Watch. Keep an eye on your shot and how it’s running. If you have a naked basket you can tell a lot of things from watching the bottom. Your shot time will depend on many things, but you can start with getting your target yield.
10. Taste. Pour the shot into another vessel to destratify and mix the espresso properly. Wait at least 3 minutes to taste it before you judge. Like coffee, espresso also gets better and sweeter as it cools. If it tastes tart or sour, give it time, it should sweeten up. If not, time to troubleshoot.
11. Adjust. How’s it taste? Sweet, round, balanced? Awesome. Is it bitter, heavy, and doesn’t taste like anything, or empty? This shot has extracted too much, try a quicker shot or coarser grind. Is it sour, tart, or thin? You may need a finer grind to extract more, or pull it longer.
quick cold brew (qcb)
Our approach to cold brew takes a bit of attention, but it’s worth it. This style will give you a lot more clarity and also more control in the final brew. We will be splitting our water into 3 portions, and using the same set of grounds going from a batch of water to the next, and to the next, and at the end you’ll combine all 3 ‘brews’ for a tasty batch.
Your kit – This recipe goes for about a 1:14 ratio and will be for a 2L brew (scale it up or down using math). 143g of Modus coffee ground medium (if your ground is 0-10, try 5.5), a cloth filter really helps for this, 3 containers, cold water.
1. Splitting water. Start by splitting your cold 2Ls of water into 1000mls, 667mls and 667mls into your 3 containers.
2. Grind. Grind your coffee into your cloth filter.
3. 00:00 – 2 hours. Submerge your filter into your biggest batch of water, give it a bit of a stir to make sure all the grinds are wet and saturated. Give this 2 hours, room temp. At the end take your cloth filter and squeeze out as much coffee as possible.
4. 2 hours – 3.5 hours. Repeat step 3.. Take your cloth filter and strain it but put it into your second batch of water, again making sure all the grinds are wet, give this 1.5 hours and strain your filter again. Room temp.
5. 3.5 hours – 4.5 hours. Rinse and repeat again, this time leaving the coffee in for 1 hour. Room temp.
6. 4.5 hours. Dispose of your coffee grinds and combine all 3 of your batches of cold brew, enjoy right away or refrigerate it for a while to up the strength. Before you combine you can also taste each part of the brew independently to get an idea of how you may want ot adjust for the next time.
You can adjust the length of each of the steps to gain more or less body, flavour or acidity. And of course you can adjust your grind to really fine tune your brew.